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Say It Right Series


Posted by shenhe July 25, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

I recall reading a post about weird reactions by Chinese people concerning one's alleged "proficiency". Well, I just had one of the weirder conversations in my life. Perhaps someone who understands the nuances can explain what this was about. (Learning Chinese is highly adventurous, but it would be great to actually know why things are the way they are...)

So, I meet that nice-looking lady online, judging from the picture I'd say she's in her early  thirties. So, at one point during the chat I ask (in the whole conversation was in Chinese) "How old are you?", she is like "How dare you inquire about my age?". Ok, point taken. (I never got this reaction from Chinese people, on the contrary, they seem to be rather keen on finding out about my age as well, and if they really don't want to tell, they beat arounds the bush a little). Then I asked her about her job. Reply: "I work".

From this point on, she somewhat lost me. I have to admit that before the following extract, I had been kind of impolite, because the way she kept harping on about my reasons for not putting a picture online annoyed me.

A:  我怎么觉得你像一个中国人
A:  怎么觉得你就像一个中国人
A:  说话的口气
S(me):  哪儿的话       
A:  呵呵
A:  你要吓死谁
A:  还带“儿”
S: ...
A:  我没有猜错吧
S:  是什么意思呢?
A:  我就是觉得你像一个中国人
S:  You think I'm pretending?
S:  我哭了。。。:-(  你为什么不跟我说话呀?     
A:  差不多吧  [?]
A:  这不怪我
A:  你学的太地道了
A:  还不肯把照片放上去.

Any ideas?

(I don't want to waste your time. If this isn't relevant, just ignore it.)

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